It would seem that sacrilegious communions hasten death
#11
(07-07-2017, 02:16 PM)Zedta Wrote:
(07-07-2017, 01:11 PM)J Michael Wrote: I tend to agree with you on this, Z-Man, but have to ask a couple of questions.  First of all, if, as many Christians still believe, including not a small number of Catholics and even Orthodox, hell is a physical location, who created it?  Secondly, related to the first question, if it isn't a physical place just what is it?  We talk about it as if it were some kind of location somehow located in space somewhere, but if that's not the case, well. 

Here are a few Biblical accounts:


Quote:Job20:18 Endlessly he shall pay for the wrong he did, plagued in the measure of his own false dealings. 19 He who oppressed and robbed the poor shall never prosper with his ill-gotten fortunes; 20 he, the insatiable, will not keep what he so coveted; 21 he, that never had a crust to spare, will be stripped now of all his goods. 22 Once so full fed, now he goes in need; stands in doubt, with distress crowding in on every side; 23 ah for a meal to fill his belly with! But no, God’s angry vengeance is let loose on him, raining down all its weapons; 24 shuns he the steel, to the bow of bronze he falls a prey. 25 Bright and bitter the drawn sword threatens; about him, dread warriors come and go.[1] 26 He hides away, where thick darkness broods over him;[2] straightway a fire no human hand has kindled threatens to devour him; woe betide any that would take refuge in that dwelling! 27 Heaven will reveal the story of his crimes, earth itself rise in revolt against him; 28 all the promise of his race will be laid bare and torn away, in that hour of the Lord’s vengeance.[3]


and...


Quote:Isaiah 33:14 In Sion itself there be guilty folk that tremble, false hearts full of dismay; who shall survive this devouring flame, the near presence of fires that burn unceasingly?


and...


Quote:Luke 16: 22 Time went on; the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; the rich man died too, and found his grave in hell.[2] 23 And there, in his suffering, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he said, with a loud cry, Father Abraham, take pity on me; send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, My son, remember that thou didst receive thy good fortune in thy life-time, and Lazarus, no less, his ill fortune; now he is in comfort, thou in torment. 26 And, besides all this, there is a great gulf fixed between us and you, so that there is no passing from our side of it to you, no crossing over to us from yours.

and...


Quote:Matthew 25: 41 Then he will say to those who are on his left hand, in their turn, Go far from me, you that are accursed, into that eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.

From these Scriptural passages, one can glean it is a place of 'being' and 'existence', if you will (hellacious for body or spirit), and one created for the Fallen Angels and those who follow them and reject God. It is a place where God is not and if God is light and love and all that is good, then it is a place of utter darkness, utterly devoid of any speck of hope, completely lacking in any hint of love and where there is no rest but constant turmoil and torture and where "the worm never rests".

Thanks for the reply, Z.!  I'm somewhat familiar with those, though it's good to be reminded of them again.  One thing I **always** want to bear in mind when reading Scripture, is, well, it's more than one thing but a) the cultural and religious context in which it was written, b) the language that it was originally written in and the languages it was subsequently translated into and how nuances of meaning can shift significantly during that process, especially if one also considers who is translating and what their own agenda is or biases are, c) that much of scripture must not be read just on a literal level, but also on metaphorical and allegorical levels as well, which would also affect meaning, and d) that many things in Scripture were said/written in hyperbole and for effect, which again goes to meaning.  If you see what I mean.... :D   And yes, the "Church" is there, in part to "interpret" Scripture for us, but....hey...the Church is people and people have agendas, politics, prejudices, and so on, some blatant, some less so, so....the issue is one, for me at least, of trust.  And I'm no longer at an age that I trust someone/something just because they are the self-proclaimed "authority" or just because said authority said so.  This is part, I think, of what makes me a self-proclaimed "heretic" :) .  So...I continue to ask questions, to doubt, to search, etc, and unfortunately, while I still consider myself a Christian (of sorts) I no longer, as I've expressed elsewhere on this board before, believe that the Church today, Catholic or Orthodox or Prot. is Christ's Church.  But...I am open to persuasion, but proof-texting won't get anyone very far with me when it comes to  that :) .
“But all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.” ~Julian of Norwich

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug."~Mark Knopfler (?)

"No matter who you are somebody thinks you're a heretic. Wear it like a badge of honor........... :LOL:"~Silouan
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#12
(07-07-2017, 01:38 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(07-07-2017, 01:11 PM)J Michael Wrote: I tend to agree, too, with what Melkite has written elsewhere about what kind of God would create creatures knowing full well that they would somehow choose to spend their eternity either burning in a physical fire or totally separated from Him or hating Him so much that, being "stuck" with Him for eternity was, in fact, hell?  Notice I used the word "tend"...as I remain rather ambivalent and unsure about it all.

I am finding consolation in the Apocalypse of Peter.  It indicates that, through the prayers of the saints, hell will not be permanent and that all will be reconciled to God.  It may have been the source for St. Gregory's and Origen's believe in universal salvation.  I know that this is not a canonical piece, but knowing that it was so widely accepted as scriptural by the early Church that it was nearly included in the NT canon gives me hope that it is accurate, and at least not heretical.

Although, I do wonder, if God told Peter not to reveal that to anybody because people would go on sinning if they knew, why did he then go and reveal it?

The most important question is if there is such a thing as an 'free eternal decision'. If we can utter an eternal 'yes' to God, there must exist a corresponding counterpart...otherwise decision for God would either be not entirely free or not entirely eternal.

Concerning the 'salvation of all': Let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that in the end everyone would be saved. However, 'Divine Pedagogy' would demand that there has to be a believe in the possibility of damnation to bring about this result. Even if this were true (which most likely isn't), there is a huge problem with this approach.

It is a spiritual trap: virtually everyone who had ever had this thought tends to assume that this Divine Pedagogy only applies to other people, but not to him. 'Maybe the sinful neighbour needs to be frightened by hell, but not me....I am much wiser than those ignorant sinners, I can handle this secret knowledge that everything is just a bluff!"

Every time I played with the thought of Universalism, my prayer life became lukewarm and I started to indulge in venial sins.

However, when I just took the leap of faith and affirmed all the major Catholic dogmas, not only did my prayer life improve, but the dogmas slowly started to make sense, on a much deeper level than the purely rational reasoning.

PS: Origenes did not "believe" in the salvation of all, he just proposed it as a topic for discussion. Only his disciples promoted this position.
"Cor Jesu Rex Et Centrum Omnium Cordium, miserére nobis "

“To pray is to shed blood.” - Silouan the Athonite
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#13
(07-08-2017, 04:04 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: The most important question is if there is such a thing as an 'free eternal decision'. If we can utter an eternal 'yes' to God, there must exist a corresponding counterpart...otherwise decision for God would either be not entirely free or not entirely eternal.
I think there are too many problems with this.  You're essentially saying that if there is eternal good, there must also be eternal evil.  Since there was a point when nothing existed other than God, it would mean he would have to be both good and evil.
Any concept of predestination, even authentic Catholic understandings of predestination, make it so that a person's yes is not entirely free.  The Catholic understanding intends to say that a person's no is entirely free, but because of all the logical impossibilities involved, this is impossible.  If it is possible for God to predestine to hell - which he does even in the Catholic understanding of predestination, then why can't he predestine everyone to heaven?




Quote:Concerning the 'salvation of all': Let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that in the end everyone would be saved. However, 'Divine Pedagogy' would demand that there has to be a believe in the possibility of damnation to bring about this result. Even if this were true (which most likely isn't), there is a huge problem with this approach.

What on earth is divine pedagogy?  Sounds like something invented by a philosopher, so it really is merely named divine pedagogy.

Quote:It is a spiritual trap: virtually everyone who had ever had this thought tends to assume that this Divine Pedagogy only applies to other people, but not to him. 'Maybe the sinful neighbour needs to be frightened by hell, but not me....I am much wiser than those ignorant sinners, I can handle this secret knowledge that everything is just a bluff!"

Every time I played with the thought of Universalism, my prayer life became lukewarm and I started to indulge in venial sins.

This is just me, but I find the opposite.  When I thought God allowed people to suffer in hell for all eternity, for finite sins that no sinner ever truly comprehends, my prayer life dried up like a desert stream.  Thinking of the possibility that God will save everyone in the end, this inspires me to love God.  I want to sin less, not at all if possible, because I don't want to do something to offend or hurt such a loving God.  The sentiment is, if I understand it correctly, essentially the same as perfect contrition.
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#14
(07-08-2017, 03:01 PM)Melkite Wrote: This is just me, but I find the opposite.  When I thought God allowed people to suffer in hell for all eternity, for finite sins that no sinner ever truly comprehends, my prayer life dried up like a desert stream.  Thinking of the possibility that God will save everyone in the end, this inspires me to love God.  I want to sin less, not at all if possible, because I don't want to do something to offend or hurt such a loving God.  The sentiment is, if I understand it correctly, essentially the same as perfect contrition.

I would agree that your position is much better than mere "attrition", i.e. believing or acting merely out of fear of hell.
What I was referring to goes concerns something much deeper than attrition. Contrition means repentance out of perfect love (=compassion) for God. And you can only have perfect "com-passion" if you are aware of the full extent of His passion.

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume the possibility of damnation is a fact. Many people assume that God coldheartedly judges people to hell (see for example Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"). This is not the case. Because of the incarnation, God has human heart which can feel compassion in the way humans do. But His compassion is not filtered through forgetfulness and ignorance, as is ours. His compassion, combined with His omniscience, is limitless, embracing every suffering that ever has ever occurred or will ever occur to any sentient being.
Now, Jesus suffered incredible physical pains during the crucifixion. But much worse than his physical pains are his spiritual pains: every time some person sins, this person separates himself from God. And this spiritual separation is much more hurtful to Christ than the tearing of a physical limb could ever be. And the most horrendous pain Christ feels is a soul choosing eternal separation.

If you are aware of this fact, you understand why the Blessed Mother is crying "because of the sins of the world" in most apparitions (it is not relevant for the current discussion if the apparitions are authentic or are 'just' based on mystical inspiration…in any case, they represent a very deep truth): every sin is literally hurting their son. And if a soul risks damnation, she risks causing her son the most horrible pain imaginable.


Real contrition consists in this: you are worried about your sins – and even your damnation – only insofar you do not want to hurt your beloved God. This way, you not only try to avoid sins because you want to be a good boy who likes to please his father. You avoid them because you feel the deepest disgust and anguish over the remotest possibility to hurt your beloved one.
"Cor Jesu Rex Et Centrum Omnium Cordium, miserére nobis "

“To pray is to shed blood.” - Silouan the Athonite
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#15
(07-08-2017, 03:01 PM)Melkite Wrote: What on earth is divine pedagogy?  Sounds like something invented by a philosopher, so it really is merely named divine pedagogy.

The term "Divine Pedagogy" is sometimes used to describe God's behaviour in the Old Testament. According to the Cathecism of the Catholic Church (§53), it means that  "God communicates himself to man gradually".

For example, He instructed the Israelites to practice animal sacrifices so that they would one day be able to grasp Christ's message.

Or another example: until the third century B.C. there was no revelation about the immortality of the soul. It is said that God had hidden this fact from the Isralites so that they could learn to appreciate the significance of human life and death.

Someone could make the argument that God withhelds from us the truth that indeed everyone will be saved. But this is a very dangerous argument, as I had tried to point out.
"Cor Jesu Rex Et Centrum Omnium Cordium, miserére nobis "

“To pray is to shed blood.” - Silouan the Athonite
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#16
(07-08-2017, 03:01 PM)Melkite Wrote: I think there are too many problems with this.  You're essentially saying that if there is eternal good, there must also be eternal evil.  Since there was a point when nothing existed other than God, it would mean he would have to be both good and evil.

As Aquinas has shown, every created being is good in their essence - even the demons. An eternal "No" would not be an eternal evil, but an eternal absence of an additional good (beatific vision)
"Cor Jesu Rex Et Centrum Omnium Cordium, miserére nobis "

“To pray is to shed blood.” - Silouan the Athonite
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#17
Man has Free-Will, this is a gift from God and it grants us the power of choice we have of either embracing God, or rejecting Him.  If we choose to embrace our own self, we in-turn reject God; if we reject God, then we cannot expect that our will, will be His Will.  If two wills are at odds with each other, the will of Self and the Will of God, then we must realize that as in nature two opposites repel and not attract. 

We know that water and fire cannot co-exist in one area, one will eventually consume the other.  We also know that the crop and the weed can also not co-exist together in the same patch of field, for one will eventually overcome the other.  Therefore if we know in nature that two opposites cannot exist in the same area without one overpowering and eventually destroying the other, we must also be in agreement that in the spiritual, the same laws apply.  As Our Lord hath said "Thou canst serve God and mammon."

In regards to Hell, we know that Heaven is the eternal dwelling place of God and the Communion of Saints.  We also know that it is a place where people do the Will of God with ease.  Sin becomes an impossibility once the soul is raised to obtaining the Beatific Vision. Yet, if one wills to sin, then how can they be in Heaven when it is impossible?  Can a thief find satisfaction in a debtor's prison?  Or a wencher at a convent?  Neither of these men could find satisfaction in a place so antithetical to their desires; likewise, the sinner would be miserable in Heaven, but more so than either the thief or wencher as it would be sempiternal.  

Therefore, we must conclude that if the sinner is miserable in Heaven, then it would be a contradiction to declare God all Merciful, as it certainly is not charitable to impose misery upon an unwilling subject.  Since we know that God is all Merciful, for this is self-evident dogma, then we cannot believe that God being all Merciful, would condemn the sinner to be imprisoned in the presence of one whom simply is found abhorrent.  Opposites repel as has been discussed and the man who rejects the Will of God, will henceforth on the day of judgement, be cast to the furthest reigns of the spiritual universe.  

Hell can be likened to a wilderness, with neither the comforts nor the securities of civilization.  A place fit only for murders and highwaymen, except these men only can survive in the wilderness as long as citizens from the city are existing to be victims.  Hell is a wilderness were the city now rests atop a mountain in the form of a castle, therefore the thief, the swindler, the murderer, the highwayman are left with only each other in a miserable place to curse and fight with one another.
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#18
(07-08-2017, 04:10 PM)JosefSilouan Wrote: Someone could make the argument that God withhelds from us the truth that indeed everyone will be saved. But this is a very dangerous argument, as I had tried to point out.

Dangerous indeed, but we must remember that revelation is over, it ended with the death of the last apostle. If something new is "revealed," like a fourth person of God, we know that it is not God who reveals it.
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#19
Is it actually doctrinal that revelation ended with the death of the last apostle?
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#20
(07-09-2017, 11:45 AM)Melkite Wrote: Is it actually doctrinal that revelation ended with the death of the last apostle?

Depends on what you call doctrinal perhaps, but that is what I was taught, and I think it makes sense. The new Catechism seems to imply this in paragraphs 65-66. However, even if this is the case, God has not left us after public revelation has ceased, he will dwell with us even to the consummation of the world as he promised. But the faith which we MUST believe in has already been delivered to us, and any deviation from that must be avoided: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle."
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